One day, a friend of mine sent me a youtube video about how to overcome negative thoughts by doctor Marco Abud, psychiatry. He based his arguments on “Emotional Agility” by Susan David. Here’s the video link. (It’s in Portuguese)

Then suddenly, the subject covered in the video dawned on me my daily guided meditation. So, I became interested and curious to know more about the science behind this.

Susan David is a psychologist, a founder and co-director of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital of Havard Medical School and an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard University. She has sold hundreds of thousands of books and won many renowned awards.

Nowadays, the pursuit of happiness is in trend. No matter what you do, no matter what happens in our lives, even bad events, this tyranny of happiness teaches us that we must think positively all the time, take always positives aspects every situation, like “The Glad Game” in Pollyanna. However, researchers have shown that as much as you avoid thinking about your problems, these problems still there, and when those thoughts return they got power.  In other words, the negative thoughts were fed by our fighting to avoid them.

Susan David teaches how to be emotional agile by following these key conceptions:

  • Showing Up: Instead of ignoring difficult thoughts and emotions or overemphasizing ‘positive thinking’, facing into your thoughts, emotions and behaviors willingly, with curiosity and kindness.

  • Stepping Out: Detaching from, and observing your thoughts and emotions to see them for what they are—just thoughts, just emotions. Essentially, learning to see yourself as the chessboard, filled with possibilities, rather than as any one piece on the board, confined to certain preordained moves.

  • Walking Your Why: Your core values provide the compass that keeps you moving in the right direction. Rather than being abstract ideas, these values are the true path to willpower, resilience and effectiveness.

  • Moving On: Small deliberate tweaks to your mindset, motivation, and habits – in ways that are infused with your values, can make a powerful difference in your life. The idea is to find the balance between challenge and competence, so that you’re neither complacent nor overwhelmed. You’re excited, enthusiastic, invigorated.

This was a book, that I didn’t want to read it fast. On the contrary, each chapter and section make me realize things in my life, make me wonder why am I doing it? How can it be applied in my life? What situation have I passed over? And so.

The author uses straightforward language to convey her ideas. For English learners, the vocabulary is intermediate, it’s a good reading.

It’s not just about personal life, but professional and parenting lives. How to be emotional agility at the workplace and how to raise children emotionally agile.

Another valid point. It’s full of practical examples and scientific research that endorse what she’s writing. It’s not just empirical knowledge but based on scientific researches.

I highly recommend this book for those who want to know how to identify emotions and thoughts, then learn to live and accept them exactly how they are, respecting your own feelings and values. Who suffers from anxiety, who has a million different thoughts at the same time. You’ll learn that life is wonderful with its all warts and all.

I believe that every human being should read this book. This is simply fantastic.

Have you ever read it? Do you want to read it? Let your comment below.



Shirley is an avid learner, interested in self-development, healthcare, and mindfulness. As an English learner, she spreads the word about her process of learning English, that it might help someone in their process.


    • Hey Justyna. I’m glad that you liked the review and became interested in the book. Thanks for your comment. =)

  1. Great article Shirley, the books seems very interesting. I will check it!

  2. Awesome Shirley. I don’t even know you have a nice blog like this. Keep it up!

Write A Comment